Seven’s new dashboard

The new dash and console for Seven is progressing slowly. The Molex connectors used liberally throughout Seven’s wiring harness were never really meant to be used in a car for every connection. I have my doubts whether they were meant for much of any use in a car other than temporary. They are not automotive-grade connectors; they aren’t sealed from the elements and are not vibration-proof. They work well, are easy to hook up, cost effective and everything plugs into everything else…relatively. In fact, if it weren’t for our LED lighting and some of the connections slowly working themselves loose, I’d say they’re great for a car.

Our LED lighting is starting to have connection issues. With LED lights, especially our headlights, it’s necessary to maintain a minimum voltage, in this case 12.0 or higher, because unlike incandescent or halogen lights that merely dim a tiny bit if the voltage drops below 12 volts, LED lights turn off for a fraction of a second until the voltage rebounds to 12+ volts and the lights come back on. The voltage drops again because of the load the lights put on it and the lights shut off again. The fluctuation occurs quite rapidly, to the point where the road in front of you looks like a 1970’s disco with flashing lights daring you to either dance or go into an epileptic seizure.

All of our voltage supplies seem to be OK. The problem appears to originate at the Molex connectors, in the form of a 0.1-0.2 volt drop occurring across each connector. For one or two connectors this is not a big deal, but we used these connectors for every connection in the car and have rewired the car three times, splicing in more connections every time some component was changed.

I don’t want to enter the dark ages while driving down the highway some night at 70 MPH.

The connections are not strain-relief, and with a car that vibrates and a Kevin who keeps taking things apart to make them ‘better,’ we’re running into wiring fallout. The wires seem fine one day and then literally fall out of the back of the connectors the next. So along with building a new dash, we’ll be rewiring almost everything in the dash.

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